HALL OF FAME

During 30 years spent scouring the UK for design talent, we’ve championed many superstars of style. We catch up with them for our anniversary special

Portrait of Sir Terence Conran
Terence Conran

During 30 years spent scouring the UK for design talent, we've championed many superstars of style. We catch up with them for our anniversary special

Portrait of David Adjaye
Ed Reeve
David Adjaye

Established in 2000, Adjaye Associates will celebrate its 20th anniversary next year – and its founder, David Adjaye, remains one of the most original voices in architecture. Among his early achievements were two pioneering libraries in Tower Hamlets, the Idea Stores (2004 and 2005), and the black-clad Rivington Place art gallery in Shoreditch (2007). There’s a strong ethical dimension to much of his work, including his design for the Smithsonian National Museum of African American History and Culture in Washington, USA. His upcoming project is the UK Holocaust Memorial – the design, proposed by a team led by Adjaye Associates, with Ron Arad Architects as Memorial Architect and Gustafson Porter + Bowman as Landscape Architect, is expected to be completed in 2021. adjaye.com

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Portrait of Michael Anastassiades
Eirini Vourloumis
Michael Anastassiades

By his own estimation, Anastassiades’s style is ‘minimal, utilitarian and almost mundane, yet full of vitality one might not expect’. Part functional objects, part works of art, his simple creations reflect his rigorous training in engineering and industrial design. Since opening his studio in 1994, the medium in which he’s made the most impact is lighting – his ‘String ’ pendants for Flos (2014) resemble fine black line drawings, while ‘Get Set’ (2013) is more of a freestanding sculpture: an opaline sphere perched atop a brass bar. One of the UK’s most discreet yet compelling talents. michaelanastassiades.com

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Portrait of Ron Arad with red sculpture
Camera Press/Martin Pope
Ron Arad

Arad’s architecture and design practice, Ron Arad Associates, was founded in 1989, the same year ELLE Decoration hit the newsstands; since then he’s served as professor of design product at the Royal College of Art (1997–2009) and been elected to the Royal Academy of Arts (2013). He has also acquired a reputation as a maverick, freely experimenting with new materials and radical forms – such as his ‘Gomli’ sculpture (above). Highlights of his career include ‘Lolita’, a chandelier for Swarovski that projected text messages across its surface (2004), and the creation of the Design Museum Holon in his native Israel (2010). He’s currently working on the UK Holocaust Memorial. ronarad.co.uk

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ARAM store interior
Paul Raeside
Aram Store

Zeev Aram was one of the first retailers to get Brits to embrace classic European Modernism – his store, opened in 1964, was a lone star on the scene at the time. It was Aram who introduced furniture by the likes of Marcel Breuer, Le Corbusier and the Castiglioni brothers to a London audience. The initial reaction may have been bemusement – in the early days, he even received hate mail – but since ELLE Decoration’s inception, his Drury Lane shop has thrived. Along the way, the store has revived the work of 1930s Irish designer Eileen Gray (neglected until Aram rediscovered it in the 1970s) and celebrated the early design pieces of names like Konstantin Grcic and Jasper Morrison. The business is still family run – Zeev’s son Daniel plays a central role, as did his daughter Ruth until her untimely death earlier this year. ‘ELLE Decoration promotes the best in modern design, which can always be found at Aram,’ says Daniel. ‘Our greatest achievement has been maintaining the high quality of our pieces in an ever more competitive market.’ aram.co.uk

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Portrait of Tomoko Azumi
Tomoko Azumi
Tomoko Azumi

Trained as an architect in her native Japan, Azumi came to the UK in the early 1990s with her former husband Shin Azumi. Together, they set up studio Azumi and created the ‘LEM’ bar stool for Lapalma (2000). After the couple split in 2005, Tomoko founded TNA Design Studio, where, amongst other things, she’s designed understated chairs – ‘Flow’ for Ercol (2015) is a highlight. ‘I remember seeing one of the earliest issues of ELLE Decoration when I still lived in Japan. It featured treehouses with Winnie the Pooh illustrations, which gave me a strong impression of the British way of thinking about design – a combination of traditional and modern, urban and natural.’ tnadesignstudio.co.uk

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Portrait of Sean Sutcliffe, co-founder of Benchmark Furniture
Benchmark Furniture
Benchmark Furniture

Established in 1984 by cabinetmaker Sean Sutcliffe and Sir Terence Conran in the grounds of the latter’s country home, Barton Court in Berkshire, Benchmark is one of the UK’s great manufacturing success stories – its pieces reflect our renewed appreciation of craft. ‘Many would argue that wood is the material of the future,’ says Sutcliffe. ‘We recently supplied our oak “OVO” collection by Foster + Partners to a medical technology research centre in Ohio. I think it’s telling that such a modern environment has chosen this traditional material.’ benchmarkfurniture.com

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Portrait of Edward Barber and Jay Osgerby
Dan Wilton
Barber & Osgerby

The first piece that brought Ed Barber and Jay Osgerby to public attention – the ‘Loop’ coffee table, launched in 1997, the year after they set up their studio – is still in production and hasn’t aged a day. Trained as architects at the Royal College of Art, they have always brought a geometric simplicity to their work, influenced by the card they fold to make their models. Since that first table, the duo’s achievements have been many: the opening of architecture and interior design practice Universal Design Studio in 2001, the witty tilting ‘Tip Ton’ chair for Vitra in 2011 and the London Olympic Torch (for which they won an ELLE Decoration British Design Award in 2012). Their approach embraces industrial design and craft – it can be seen in their reinvented paper lanterns, ‘Hotaru Marker’ lights (2018), for Japanese brand Ozeki. ‘We have always been supported by ELLE Decoration and we’re pleased to see that support continue with a new generation of talent,’ they say. barberosgerby.com

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Portrait of Tord Boontje
Angela Moore
Tord Boontje

The year 2002 was one of the most romantic in British design, thanks to the work of London-based Dutch creative Tord Boontje. He launched his crystal ‘Blossom’ chandelier for Swarovski and its stylish high-street equivalent, ‘Garland’ for Habitat – a laser-cut metal sheet that can be unfurled around a lightbulb (Boontje’s studio is relaunching the design this summer). Both creations were charming and captivating: one aspirational, the other accessible. Needless to say, the two designs appeared many times within the pages of ELLE Decoration – and it seems the admiration is mutual, as Boontje has been a subscriber to the magazine for 15 years. ‘I still turn to it to stay in touch with what’s happening in design,’ he says. ‘For me, my work is all about being creative and sharing it with others.’ He still has the power to instil a sense of wonder – recent work includes the moonlike ‘Highlight of the Night’ floor lamp created for the ‘Future Heritage’ craft show at last year’s Decorex. tordboontje.com

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Portrait of Lee Broom
Lee Broom
Lee Broom

Long before he started his eponymous brand, Lee Broom attended theatre school – an influence that’s still felt in his dramatic, memorable furniture and lighting designs. Since starting out in 2007, he’s brought immeasurable glamour to the design scene with creations like the cut-glass ‘Decanterlight’ (2010), inspired by his design of London bar Coquine. His collection features several planetary-inspired lights, as well as the recently-launched ‘Lens Flair’ design (above), inspired by telescopic lenses and refraction. ‘Winning Designer of the Year at the ELLE Decoration British Design Award in 2012 was an early highlight for me, as it was one of my first major accolades,’ he remembers. ‘Opening my first New York store was another great moment. It’s so important to have institutions like ELLE Decoration to frame the mood of the times. I have many vintage interiors magazines – including ELLE Decoration – and they serve as a fascinating timeline of design.’ leebroom.com

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Interior of Annabel's members' club designed by Martin Brudnizki
James McDonald
Martin Brudnizki

This Swedish-born, London-based interior designer cites Italian architect Carlo Scarpa and American decorator Dorothy Draper among the inspirations for his impactful designs, which range from the luxuriously understated (such as Parisian restaurant Le Chardenoux) to the opulent (his recent redesign of London members’ club Annabel’s). Next year, he’ll be celebrating the 20th anniversary of his studio MBDS. ‘I’ve worked on so many wonderful projects that it’s hard to single any out, but there are a few I will always be particularly fond of,’ he says. ‘Scott’s in Mayfair, our first fine-dining restaurant and, of course, Annabel’s [below]. It’s such an iconic place, so unique.’ Of ELLE Decoration, he adds: ‘It does a fantastic job of showcasing great British design. Everyone can access it – not just interior designers but also home enthusiasts.’ mbds.com

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Portrait of David Chipperfield 
David Chipperfield
David Chipperfield

Since establishing his practice in 1985, Chipperfield has become known not only for his impeccably understated designs – which are both supremely elegant and completely modern – but also for his sensitive interventions in old buildings, such as Berlin’s Neues Museum (above, 2009) and the Hotel Café Royal in London (2015). He’s carved a niche in designing contemporary museums and art galleries – among his best are The Hepworth Wakefield in Yorkshire (2011) and the recently completed Zhejiang Museum of Natural History in China, whose walls are rendered in red ochre. He’s also just finished work on Mayfair gallery Bastian, with a serene, all-white interior. davidchipperfield.com

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Portrait of Sheridan Coakley, Founder of SCP in Balzac armchair
SCP
Sheridan Coakley

Coakley is the man behind one of London’s best-loved furniture stores, SCP, which opened in 1985. Although it sells classic, modern designs, it also has an important role as a manufacturer, with an upholstery factory in Norfolk, as well as a network of skilled craftspeople around the country. Among Coakley’s triumphs of the past 30 years have been Matthew Hilton’s ‘Balzac’ armchair (left), a daybed by artist Rachel Whiteread and the ‘Woodgate’ sofa system by Terence Woodgate – all part of the ‘SCP Classics’ range. ‘For me, it’s new ideas from designers that keep things interesting,’ says Coakley. ‘SCP has helped the careers of Jasper Morrison, Konstantin Grcic, Reiko Kaneko and many more.’ He credits ELLE Decoration with ‘changing attitudes towards contemporary design’. ‘It’s still the key place to be seen if you want to get under the noses of the design-savvy,’ he adds. scp.co.uk

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David Collins Studio co-founder and CEO Iain Watson, creative director Simon Rawlings and design director Lewis Taylor
David Collins Studio
David Collins Studio

The late David Collins was a genius when it came to designing bars and restaurants that everyone wanted to be seen at. The most famous are era-defining: the Blue Bar at The Berkeley (2000), decorated in his favourite shade; The Wolseley, a converted car showroom in Mayfair (2003); and renowned celebrity hotspot Nobu Berkeley (2005). Since Collins’ death in 2013, his studio has continued to thrive under the guidance of (above, from left) co-founder and CEO Iain Watson, creative director Simon Rawlings and design director Lewis Taylor. Recent projects include a furniture range with Promemoria and textile collection with GP&J Baker, as well as interiors. Rawlings always turns to ELLE Decoration for its ‘respected opinions’. ‘It’s always so on point, so relevant and smart,’ he reflects. davidcollins.studio

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Portrait of Sir Terence Conran
Terence Conran
Sir Terence Conran

The creator of Habitat, The Conran Shop, the Design Museum and many a chic London restaurant and hotel, Sir Terence needs no introduction – he’s had a bigger impact on Britons’ design sensibilities and lifestyles than most. Looking back on his long career, he says: ‘There have been so many great moments. Early on I’d say Habitat – not just opening it, but seeing the concept grow around the world. It proved that my bloody-minded belief was right, and the powers that be were wrong – that there was a great enthusiasm among young people to live a better style of life. Opening the Design Museum was special too, especially moving it into its new Kensington home. The past 30 years have seen monumental shifts in design as the country finally embraced Modernism. Somebody had tremendous foresight opening ELLE Decoration in 1989, because Britain was on the cusp of change and the media had a vital role to play. Magazines and TV shows have been hugely influential in encouraging people’s passion for interiors, and ELLE Decoration has been at the forefront of this. I always take great delight in receiving my copy as it’s filled with inspirational ideas. It’s a pleasure to have in your hand – in this age of social media and people skim-reading on digital screens, I think that feeling of quality is so important. It allows me to take time out from a busy day and devour the magazine from cover to cover. That is luxury. So happy birthday ELLE Decoration– here’s to the next 30 years!’ conran.com

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Portrait of Sebastian Cox in workshop
Alun Callender
Sebastian Cox

One of the biggest trends to emerge in British design in recent times has been the resurgence of wood furniture – and Cox is one of its finest exponents. He uses native timbers in beautifully rich tones – among them hazel, coppiced chestnut and ash – to craft his designs, which have been commissioned by the likes of The New Craftsmen and Heal’s. His eponymous kitchen for Devol, launched in 2015, celebrates texture and seeks to revive the use of British hardwoods, such as beech. ‘During my career, I’ve had the great honour of making some really spectacular bespoke pieces of furniture for interesting, creative clients, including Sir Terence Conran and Christopher Bailey,’ he says. ‘But, for me, the greatest achievement has been building a stable business that’s a great place to work, driven by principles that matter to me.’ sebastiancox.co.uk

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Black and white portrait of Tom Dixon holding lamp
Tom Dixon
Tom Dixon

He’s one of the most dynamic and prolific forces on the design scene, whether he’s creating gardening tools and sofa beds for Ikea or lighting and furniture for his own brand. Entirely self-taught, Dixon started out in the 1980s experimenting with welded metal furniture; his first hit was the ‘S’ chair (1991), produced by his early champion Cappellini. Dixon’s next move was to head up design at Habitat (1998-2008), which he reinvigorated with his enthusiasm for democratic design. Much of his work – ‘Fat’ chair and ‘Spring ’ light ( both left) – still has the industrial look of his early work, but he’s also reinventing what a design brand can be – his new headquarters, The Coal Office, is a hybrid of studio, shop and restaurant. tomdixon.net

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Portrait of Nipa Doshi and Jonathan Levien in studio
Jenny Lewis
Doshi Levien

A love of craft goes hand-in-hand with an enthusiasm for experimental industrial techniques for London-based husband-and-wife team Nipa Doshi and Jonathan Levien. Winners of the 2019 ELLE Decoration British Design Award for Designers of the Year, the duo’s studio has created many notable pieces, including ‘Bay’ (above, 2018), a chair for B&B Italia made using high-tech yarn. New-gen textiles are a passion – their latest launches are ‘Raas’ and ‘Lila’, two colourful abstract fabrics for Kvadrat. doshilevien.com

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Black and white portrait of Sebastian Wrong of Established & Sons in front of pendant lights
Sebastian Wrong
Established & Sons

This British brand made a huge splash when it debuted in 2005. Invariably clever and sensual, its launches – from Zaha Hadid’s ‘Aqua’ table (2005) to the candy-striped ‘Filigrana’ lights by Sebastian Wrong (left, 2018) – became events. As the current design director, Wrong is the last of five original co-founders to maintain links with the company, which continues to explore new manufacturing techniques. ELLE Decoration, he says, ‘featured our first designs and has been helping us reach our audience ever since’. establishedandsons.com

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MillauViaduct in southern France appearing above clouds
Foster & Partners
Foster + Partners

One of Britain’s biggest and longest established architecture practices, Foster + Partners has been in business since 1967, when it was founded by Sir Norman Foster. It’s the name behind many of the world’s most famous contemporary landmarks, including London’s Millennium Bridge (2002), the Millau Viaduct in southern France (left, 2004), the Reichstag redevelopment in Berlin (1999) and Hong Kong ’s international airport (1998). It’s also created a succession of stores for Apple and the Bund Finance Center in Shanghai. The latter, with its mobile façade inspired by Chinese theatre, is one of the most Instagrammed buildings in the world. The practice has won the RIBA Stirling Prize three times and values sustainability, notably in the regeneration project it’s currently working on for London’s Battersea Power Station, which includes lush roof gardens and a community park. fosterandpartners.com

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Portrait of Bethan Gray in front of marquetry table tops
Bethan Gray
Bethan Gray

Spotted as a student at the New Designers show in 1998 by Tom Dixon, then head of design at Habitat, Gray went on to work for the brand full time. In 2008 she chose to go solo, and since then has worked with a wide range of brands, from Anthropologie to 1882 Ltd with remarkable results – her ‘Victoria’ marble tea set for Editions Milano, for example, won her Best in Tableware at this year’s ELLE Decoration British Design Awards. Gray has read ELLE Decoration for as long as she can remember. ‘I love it,’ she adds, ‘so to be given an ELLE Decoration British Design Award in its 30th year is incredible’. bethangray.com

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Portrait of Tricia Guild 
Designers Guild
Tricia Guild

British homes would be a lot less colourful if it wasn’t for Tricia Guild, who started Designers Guild in 1970. The author of several books on style (including the forthcoming Tricia Guild: In My View), she will celebrate her company’s 50th anniversary next year. ‘Contemporary design is a passion of mine and no one does it better than ELLE Decoration,’ she says. ‘In 1996, I guest-edited an issue – it was then I realised how much hard work goes into it!’ designersguild.com

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Portrait of Zaha Hadid 
Steve Double
Zaha Hadid

Her death in 2016 has done nothing to obscure the fact that Zaha Hadid is one of the most remarkable creative forces of recent times. Born in Baghdad in 1950, she arrived in London in 1972 to study at the city’s Architectural Association – a more realistic place to pursue her career ambitions than her native Iraq. She proceeded to break all the established rules about built environments with her fluid, fragmented geometric forms, which seemed to always be on the point of morphing into something completely new. Buildings like her Aquatics Centre for the 2012 London Olympics and Vitra Fire Station in Germany (1993) stand as reminders of her unique vision. Her practice, meanwhile, continues her legacy – it will soon complete Beijing’s new international airport terminal and has won planning permission for two mixed-use skyscrapers in London’s Vauxhall. zaha-hadid.com

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Coal Drops Yard by Thomas Heatherwick
Hufton Crow
Thomas Heatherwick

Designer, architect, inventor, problem solver: Thomas Heatherwick is the maverick talent that every generation needs to shake things up. He’s caused controversy with his spiky ‘B of the Bang ’ sculpture in Manchester (2005) and entered public consciousness by designing London’s remodelled Routemaster bus (2010) and the copper cauldron for the 2012 London Olympics. Most recently, he’s put his stamp on King’s Cross with the opening of the Coal Drops Yard retail quarter (above). Next up? He’s working on Google’s new California headquarters with architect Bjarke Ingels and is set to transform London’s Olympia into a dynamic new creative hub. heatherwick.com

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Portrait of Matthew Hilton in street
Matthew Hilton
Matthew Hilton

Launched in 1991, when ELLE Decoration was just two years old, Matthew Hilton’s ‘Balzac’ chair (manufactured by SCP) rapidly became one of the most sought-after designs of the decade. With its swooping curves and soft leather upholstery, it’s been in production for over a quarter of a century – reflecting Hilton’s belief in long-lasting, functional furniture. Today, he collaborates with the likes of Ercol, Case Furniture and De La Espada to create more timeless designs. matthewhilton.com

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Black and white portrait of Suzy Hoodless 
Suzy Hoodless
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Portrait of Kelly Hoppen
Kelly Hoppen
Kelly Hoppen

As a sixteen-year-old design lover in the mid-1970s, Kelly Hoppen was asked to redesign a family friend’s kitchen; from these modest beginnings, she’s built a formidable design empire. She’s made neutrals luxurious rather than boring, popularised the East-meets-West look, and brought her ideas to the masses with best-selling design books. Today, she has her own lines of furniture and accessories and collaborates with an impressive roster of brands: think carpets for Brintons, wallpapers for Graham & Brown and, most recently, stylishly minimal rugs for Disney. ‘Being in the industry for more than 40 years, there isn’t much I haven’t done,’ she reflects. ‘ELLE Decoration has always been a great supporter of my work which I am grateful for, especially as I’m a reader myself.’ kellyhoppen.com

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Portrait of Frieda Gormley and Javvy M Royle from House of Hackney
House of Hackney
HOUSE OF HACKNEY

This design duo, made up of husband-and-wife team Frieda Gormley and Javvy M Royle, stands at the head of a fine British pattern tradition stretching all the way back to William Morris. The Arts & Crafts hero has been a considerable influence on the brand’s ornate patterns, alongside 1970s exoticism and antique botanical prints. Since it was established in 2011 from Gormley and Royle’s kitchen table, it has been instrumental in encouraging Britons to embrace pattern, through vibrant fabrics and wallpapers, like the fantastical ‘Majorelle’ and ‘Mamounia’ used in the duo’s own home (below). Its signature is reinventing tradition: this season, it’s the turn of toile de Jouy, which gets a fresh twist in the shape of the new ‘Dinosauria’ collection. ‘Our biggest achievement has been creating a brand that values beautiful design as much as it does a strong social conscience, while always remaining true to ourselves,’ says Gormley. houseofhackney.com

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Black and white portrait of Margaret Howell
Margaret Howell
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Portait of Lina Kanafani
Mint Shop
LINA KANAFANI

‘I founded Mint as a platform for new designers to launch their careers,’ says Lina Kanafani of the Knightsbridge gallery she opened in 1998 – one of the capital’s best places to buy avant-garde international design. Many of its pieces have made it into ELLE Decoration photoshoots over the years. ‘The magazine has remained captivating throughout its 30-year history,’ says Kanafani. ‘It has never stagnated and each editor has added their own flair.’ A visit to the Mint store is as much an experience as a shopping trip. Wobbly clay furniture by Dutch maverick Maarten Baas sits beside modern glassware by east-London artist Jochen Holz and one-off luxury craft pieces. ‘Up to 70 per cent of our stock is sustainable or made from recycled materials,’ adds Kanafani. ‘By committing to conscious design, I hope I can have an impact on mainstream production.’ mintshop.co.uk

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Portrait of Kit Kemp
Kit Kemp
Kit Kemp

Since setting up Firmdale Hotels in 1985 with her property developer husband Tim, Kit Kemp has transformed the industry with venues like Ham Yard and The Covent Garden Hotel. Her eclectic style reflects her passion for colour, crafts and textiles. The couple now run eight destinations in London and two in New York – each is subtly different, but all have bags of personality. ‘It’s a thrill to walk through the doors of a hotel into a lobby of your own creation,’ says Kemp. As well as her hotels, she brings her style into the nation’s homes with collaborations – fabrics for Andrew Martin and china collections for Wedgwood. What’s her view of ELLE Decoration? ‘I love it for its clean concept of how we live today,’ she says. firmdalehotels.com; kitkemp.com

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